Dayan Viciedo trumpeted a definite "told you so" to Chicago White Sox management in his much-awaited debut this weekend in Seattle.
Expect some backpedaling from Ozzie Guillen this week.
At least for one game, Viciedo more than lived up to the season-long hype that led up to his eventual call-up. The newest White Sox was 2-for-three with a bomb to center field in the fourth inning. His first home run came on his second at-bat and gave Chicago a 3-0 lead.
After sweeping the Mariners with a 9-3 victory, Guillen began mounting his defense.
"I get paid to manage a team," Guillen said, as reported in the Chicago Tribune. "In the time they want that kid here, I don’t have any place for him. We have to make a trade or release somebody. I wasn’t in the position to say, ‘bring him up.’ I couldn’t play with 26 players. And they don’t think I want the kid here?"
Guillen has steadily lamented that he had nothing against bringing up Viciedo. The trouble is, he never really came out and publicly asked for him, either.
"I've said in the past if he's here, I'll play him," Guillen explained to Fox Sports. "He's here. He's playing.''
Don't sound too exited about the guy, Ozzie.
Guillen is quick to point out that there was no space for Viciedo on the roster. If he really wanted the Cuban Tank in a White Sox uniform before now, it's hard to believe room couldn't have been made. I don't imagine Ozzie spent a lot of time pining for Viciedo's arrival.
The adventure began Saturday, when Guillen decided to let his new addition sit while Adam Dunn put up an 0-for-3. Viciedo played right and drew a walk in addition to the pair of hits.
Now, Viciedo is up with the club, presumably for the duration of the 2011 season. To take Guillen at his word, Viciedo will be in the lineup most of that time.
I hope that takes into account the fact that Carlos Quentin will come off the DL. This seems simple enough—I think he already has more RBI than Dunn this month.
It will also be interesting to see what Guillen's reaction might be if Viciedo commits transgressions such as an error in the field or failing to drive in three runs in every game he plays.
I don't want to hear any talk of breaking Viciedo in easy to whatever semblance of a division race remains for the White Sox. Guillen gave Juan Pierre three months to figure things out. He gave Dunn and Alex Rios all season to find a pulse (Rios batted cleanup again Sunday, hopefully for the last time).
It's time for Guillen to make Viciedo a regular in the lineup whether he wants him there or not.
He's there. Play him.